Residents at another Lae suburb have demanded that the arm of government responsible for suburban roads get their act together and seal the roads.
Chinatown has long been a prime suburb in Lae City, but in the last 20 years, the street roads become riddled with potholes.
But the road upgrades hinge on funding that is provided to the Lae City Council.
Rex Duali has been a resident of Chinatown for 32 years .
He has seen the road deteriorate to this condition.
The road is now riddled with large potholes and many of the people have been waiting for an improvement in the services for as long as they can remember.
” I came to live in this suburb 20 years ago, and the potholes have lived with me for all these years, witnessing my children grow up,” Mr.Duali said.
Rex is just one of many suburban residents who say they’ve been neglected by the authorities who are supposed to provide the services.
Similar sentiments were shared by residents in one of the most neglected city suburbs – East Taraka.
It used to have good roads, a shopping center, cinema and a clinic.
There is growing anger over the lack of services coming to these parts of the City.
” They have forgotten this part of the city,” a resident said.
Lae resident and former City Council lawyer, Emmanuel Mambei, says suburban roads are the responsibility of the Lae City Council. But it is a council that is terribly underfunded.
In the early 2000s, Mambei an agreement that committed the provincial government to pay 25 percent of all GGTs revenue to the City. He says the agreement has not been honored for years.
” The City Council used to have its own plant and equipment and fixed the roads,” Mr. Mambei said.
In November, the City Council’s operations were hampered after an embarrassing power outage that lasted for several days.
The council had not paid its bills because of a lack of funds.
That funding problem has extended to its ability to build and maintain suburban roads.
” The provincial government had signed an agreement to fund the maintenance of the city,” Mambei continues.
While the funding woes of the City Council drag on, Lae’s city residents continue to put up with substandard roads.